DIY Doll House

DIY Dollhouse
Hi friends.. so happy to share a  project which is very special as it is  the biggest handcrafted project I have ever made till date and  one which took the longest time and dedication to perfect!
I made a mammoth DIY Doll House or Victorian House as my daughter calls it completely from scratch using cardboard packaging, wood scraps, chipboard ,lots and lots of gorgeous Graphic 45 papers

Since it is a huge project  a full Tutorial is impractical but I have tried to share key steps and important tips in 3 D construction so that it will help you to make any type of 3 D project even if it is not as humongous as this one!

Here is a short video
It all started when I was sent this gorgeous Wooden Carved Door in my DT kit for Crafters Corner and my daughter asked me if I could make her a doll house  using it!

When I told her "yes" I had no idea what I was getting into! She had very clear demands that the house had to be huge enough for her "Barbies" and Wonder Woman doll and that there should be doors than open and a balcony! And of course I had to make it strong enough for her to play with!

My daughter just loves Graphic 45 papers and so I really went to town in this project using gorgeous papers from A Lady's Diary and Gilded Lily...both perfect for the theme!
The House is 24 inches wide and the door and window frame are 12 x 12 inch and are attached to the walls with 3 sets of metal hinges and held closed by a special metal lock in the middle.

The house was designed to allow the beautiful door to fully open inwards and the dolls can actually enter through it! The bay window is my favorite part of the house and the one part which was the toughest to make!

The bay window has a triad of windows each fitted with glass[ acetate] and having its own flower bed

Tip :  To get the perfect matching flowers  for your project...make them yourself and use inks such as Distress Inks  to get the perfect shade of flowers and leaves to match your papers! 
I used Heartfelt creations  Sun rise lily stamps and dies to make the flowers .And to get them to match the Graphic 45 papers ,blended different colors of Distress Inks  to get the exact shade of peach for the flowers and muted green for the leaves.

I used several shades of pastel pollen in each flower so you can see grey, pink, white  pollen in different flowers.And of course all the flowers and leaves were jazzed up with Sparkling dust.
Tip : If you are using hot glue in flower making...take a few minutes extra to pull off the glue strings as you go otherwise your project will have unsightly stringy elements!

The windows were made with several layers of foam, chipboard and cardstock and after painting with gesso given a nice coat of Finnabair White Crackle texture paste .

Though this step added greatly to the project time...I love how it adds so much beauty!

The Bay window has a separate floor and roof. The roof is made from chipboard and is sturdy enough to hold  flower pots and for toy pets to stroll in and sunbathe !

This is how the inner part of the Bay window looks like...it has a recessed alcove which has a sturdy floor and you can place some furniture inside for the dolls! The cute curtain was made by my daughter using scrap fabric from her dress[ the same one she is wearing in the video]She threaded the lacey material through a chopstick and I helped hot glue 2 large pearls to complete the curtain rail!
The Window frame is attached to the side walls with 3 metal hinges and brads and swings open easily
Tip : Use really long brads to help hold the hinges on the thick chipboard. Gesso over the metal elements to blend in more with your project depending on your theme.

The sides of the house were decoupaged with beautiful Graphic 45 papers and I have framed beautiful images from "Graphic 45 A gilded Lily" inside each window.

I was so happy to frame these images as they are actually scraps from an earlier project here : Graphic 45 Desk Organizer

Tip : Make your own filler flowers from foamiran!  I used Elizabeth Craft Designs dies to die cut dozens of tiny flowers from white foamiran.

Just heat the flowers for seconds and the petals will curl beautifully without you having to spend hours shaping them with tools !

Wire pollen is also pretty useful to save time while making a bunch of filler flowers quickly.

Dress My Craft Sparkling dust
 and Microsparkling dust were used to give a subtle shimmer to all the flowers and leaves.

This was such a mammoth project  and took me nearly 3 weeks to make! There were so many steps involved and a good part went into planning, measuring, cutting and gluing. I wont bore you with all the little details but yes I will  run you through the main steps.

The gorgeous wooden door is pretty large and actually opens like a real door. Use 2- 3 layers of chipboard to create a sturdy frame for  the door. I used 1600g thick black chipboard and just to be extra sure backed it with a 2mm thick chipboard to make it super sturdy.
The door has a protruding part on it's back ... mark out this dimension onto your chipboard

 Cut out the aperture and sand the edges

Check the fitting of the door inside your frame...it should be snugly fitting...not too loose. Keep it aside for now. Only fit in the door after gluing your pattern paper.
To make the bay window- cut 3 pieces of chipboard -  keep the central one wider than the other 2.Glue the pieces in shape  at an angle .

 Make a chipboard floor and roof for your gable window also. Stick this to a 12 x 12 chipboard from which you have cut out a large square- this is completely optional and just makes your work more but it is so cool when you have a window seat in an alcove  just like in real houses!

Tip: To make your windows nice and realistic - use several layers such as chipboard , foam and card stock. Using foam layers give thickness without adding to the weight and using chipboard makes it sturdy.Also add acetate to your windows for a lovely glass effect!

After gluing on pattern paper[ from Graphic 45]...add the windows.
Since my doll house was going to be put to use rather than be a mere showcase item I was rather obsessed that it should be very sturdy.....so I coaxed my husband to cut some scrap plywood pieces  to make the Doll house floor and back wall. In retrospect I think I should have used chipboard  as it was so difficult to glue the thin wooden planks together!

In the end we used a thin block of wood to hold the 2 wooden planks in place using nails and glue!
The main side walls  and  divider walls are chipboard and were glued using wet glue and  masking tape .
Tip : When making 3 D projects : Don't be tempted to use hot glue in areas requiring good permanent adhesion!

 The roof needs to be light so you can make it out of cardboard. I used the package of my Aquaguard water purifier ...cut it into 3 equal segments and glued the edges in a triangular prism!

 Glue it onto the house and your basic frame work is done!

You can take the easy way out and keep the roof simple or be crazy like me and spend hours  cutting corrugated paper into squares and then go the even more crazier perfectionist route and spend more hours rounding off the corners of each square to make "tiles"

For a perfect tiled roof look one has to curve the tiles and glue them...which can be really tricky if you are using wet glue and a smooth surface. The best way is to line your cardboard roof with foam sheets and then hot glue the corrugated paper tiles one at a time...going slow and steady and taking care to pull off the glue strings every now and then!

I spray painted the roof silver and then sprayed adhesive and gave a generous sprinkling of Dress My Craft Microfine Glitter [ hard to see the shimmer in the photos]

The roof is rather special and has a secret room in the attic!

I made a triangular closure for both sides of the roof and it can be pulled down to reveal the secret room!...My daughter was especially thrilled with this!

A large  fabric net is attached via magnets to the roof of the house and  you can either fold over this fabric to see the inside or remove it and keep aside.

The inside of the house is completed lined with Graphic 45 papers!

My daughter helped to  paint some of her old wooden toy furniture pieces [ they were originally wood color but quite old and worn out looking]

The little teapoy has a pearl table mat and a cute flowervase. I even dressed up some of the chairs with Graphic 45 papers!

The flower vases have thread pollen and cute roses

The pillars were handmade by rolling and gluing together different lengths of corrugated paper !

They turned out really cute!

I used papers from Graphic 45 on all the walls and the  floor choosing contrasting yet complementary colors and patterns--- which is quite easy if you choose your paper packs wisely.

This side has  tiny wooden chairs and a cute oval table ...I used toy furniture my daughter had but do check out the gorgeous miniatures at Crafters Corner!

The framed pictures were made using Sakura Air drying clay---- which in my opinion is the best clay to use with molds.

I used up saved scraps of Graphic 45 paper to make the frames. The lily images are actually from the front cover of the paper pack!

The cute oval table was dressed up with a foam mat and gorgeous white lace .

Now let us go to the lower storey. Here you can see the inner side of the gorgeous door.

The first room has an armchair and tea, donuts and biscuit laid out!

The biscuit was made out of air-drying clay and a chocolate mould and the doughnut was made freehand by my daughter!The doughnut even has glace icing which my kiddo achieved by applying a thin layer of watered down glue!

 Do you like the cute glass kettle---hehe I love it too as I made it at home using resin and a choocolate mold!

The 2nd room is a dressing room and has lace curtains[ again cut from my daughter's dress!] and a wooden cupboard.

The glass slippers, the pink heart, the bows, the little crown and the winged heart were all made using either clay or resin and moulds! And there is a pearl mat befitting royalty!
Resin Glass slippers
My daughter just loves the glass slippers ! In fact she helped me make them using resin and chocolate mold. We were able to achieve that pale pink glass look by adding a few drops of alcohol ink to the resin before it set.

The cute sparkling heart was made using air dry clay and made to sparkle with fine rainbow glitter!

This room  is my daughter's favorite . An old wooden table was rejuvenated with gesso, paint and a lovely lace trim. And we added super cute porcelain  tea set I picked up especially for this project . Phew I hope you didnt fall asleep...It was a lot of hard work but I felt so happy when my daughter claimed  that this is her best birthday present ever!!!

The list of supplies is huge and in case you  need further information please leave a comment.
Papers  Graphic 45 A Lady's Diary, A Gilded Lily
Adhesives :  E6000 Spray, Elmer's Craft Bond, Aleene's Tacky Glue, Red Tacky Tape, Hot Glue Gun, Mod Podge Matte
Flower Making : Foamiran Sheets- White
Dies : Heartfelt creations Sunrise Lily,Elizabeth Craft Designs 728 Bunch of Flowers ,Sizzix Tim Holtz Window & Window Box,Sizzix Tim Holtz Pediments
Stamps : Heartfelt creations  Sunrise Lily ,
Tools : Groove Golf Tool Set, Squeegee  and  Mod Podge Tool Kit, Funnel Tray, Cropadile Big Bite
Clay : Sakura Air Dry Clay
Mold : Plaid Trinkets - Used to make the heart, bow, bag
Inks : Archival Ink Coffee, Distress Inks  Mowed Lawn, Distress Inks  Peeled Paint, Tattered Rose, Abandoned Coral
Media : Finnabair White Texture Crackle Paste
Die Cutting Machine : Sizzix Big Shot Machine
Stamping Accessory : MISTI


  1. This is mind blowing and I salute your patience !! wishing prisha a very happy birthday and shes soo lucky to have you <3 stay blessed !!

  2. My word, what a glorious dolls house!!! Wow, wow, WOW!!!! You are definitely the queen of 3D projects. Just wouldn't believe this isn't shop bought if not for your step by step instructions. Absolutely Amazingly Gorgeous! Debra x

  3. you deserve a standing ovation for this Sonia....loved all the beautiful details....this is just incredible <3 Happy Birthday to Prisha <3

  4. Oh my Sonia, what an absolutely fabulous work of art, I so enjoyed scrolling down the photos and all the minute detail you have incorporated into it. Thank you for sharing with us at Allsorts challenge.

    B x

  5. Absolutely gorgeous and love the minute details you have added to the project.

  6. WOW, this is absolutely amazing. A girls dream doll house. So much detail.

  7. Wooooooooooooooooooow, tolle arbeit, mir fehlen die Worte
    glg Gertrude

  8. Wow wow wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!! This is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!! How amazing this turned out!!! I am so pinning this one!!! GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!

  9. STUNNING!!!! How on earth do you find time and the inspiration to make such amazing creations!!! Love it.

  10. Wow! My heart is going thump, thump thump at the beauty and intricacy of this project. I love doll houses and doll house miniatures. How sweet that Prisha got to add some of her own lovely touches. That donut looks good enough to eat and her curtains are darling. The Victorian framed art, the tea kettle and glass slippers are amazing. And those tiles for the roof! If there were a “Crafter of the Year” award, you should definitely get it. As it is, I think you have gotten a better award - Best Mom Ever - from your daughter Prisha. Such a gift, made with your hands and your heart, are worth more than anything any princess in a palace has ever received.

  11. This is just mind blowing Sonia! What a fabulous house - your best project yet I think! So much care and hard work - not to mention all the little details!


    Di xx

  12. Wow Sonia, this is an amazing project. What a wonderful details. So very creative how you made everything.

  13. Wow, Wow, and more WOW! This is incredibly impressive! I always wanted a doll house when I was a girl - I had to settle for a pretend one - this would have been a dream come true! Your daughter must be over the moon! Bravo on this amazing project!

  14. Wow, Sonia, I have no words!! Oh my goodness, this is spectacular!! I've been studying the pictures, absorbing all of your amazing details!! The pillars!! They are stunning!! Each and every detail is perfection!! This truly is a work of art!! I would have loved to play with my Barbies in this house!! Phenomenal, my friend!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  15. Absolutely amazing Sonia.I just love it and loved the video..what wonderful details and everything is perfect..

    luv CHRISSYxx

  16. Oh my goodness, Sonia! I've never seen anything like your incredible doll house with the amazing details, right down to tea cups, flower petals, specialized textures, gorgeous colors - breathtaking! I thoroughly enjoyed your video, and would love to do something similar in the future, but have not learned how yet. Sonia, thank you for always showing your creative process, and taking the time so LOVINGLY REVEAL AND CREATE each and everything you make! We are so lucky to visit you on your blog. xx

  17. Oh my goodness, what an amazing creation, no wonder your daughter was pleased with it. So beautiful and thanks for adding to Allsorts, xxxx

  18. Wow, wow, wow!!! This is a creative and beautiful doll house Sonia! Graphic 45 papers are amazing, but you have made them even more amazing using them on this stunning doll house. I'm just in awe and have no words. I love the way you decorated inside of the house too and love that you re purposed your daughters old wooden toy furniture. Well, well done!!! Hugs, Brenda

    1. Thank you so much Brenda...my daughter loves Graphic 45 even at this young age and so I really went to town using my hoarded treasure of papers!

  19. This is stunning Sonia, your attention to detail is outstanding - this is absolutely beautiful, a real labour of love.
    Pauline - Crafting with Cotnob

    1. Thank you so much Pauline...yes I dont think I can ever make it for anyone else as it was indeed a labour of love!

  20. WOWZER! This is absolutely incredible Sonia!! I can't even imagine the details and time this had to have been! You're a very talented and gifted lady when it comes to this!! Just so amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hehe Vicki there were days I worked till 2am on this as I wanted to finish it in time for her birthday!!

  21. Ooooohhhhhh.... I'm absolutely speechless!!!! Wowwowwowwowwow....... There is no prize for this doll house!!!! How many works and amazing details....!!!!! Your daughter know how she is lucky?? I've never seen anything like this!!! Your creativity and talent have reached really a stunning level!
    Hat off to you!!!
    Thanks for all the photos and tips!

    1. Thank you so much Alice...my daughter declared that it her best birthday present ever and I was so touched!!

  22. Okay... First of ALL - The Barbie people need to CALL YOU, so you can tell them how to make a Stunning Doll House!!! OMGOSH Sonia .... This is Magnificent!! And I need to fly over there and have a play date with your daughter... cuz I would totally play dolls with that cool doll house! :) You really stepped it up a notch or two or three! The details are Amazing... It is AWE Inspiring and you should get Mommy of the Year for this piece of art work!!! LOOOOVE IT TO PIECES!!


  23. Fabulous. Your creativity is amazing. Your daughter will treasure this. Barbie is so lucky to have such a beautiful place to live. I keep going back to look at all of the fine details. Thank you for sharing such an outstanding work or Art with the DL.ART July Linky Challenge

  24. Howdy Howdy -Stopping by as a Guest Designer at Word Art Wednesday to say - thank you for uploading your lovely art in the challenge -
    This is a stunning piece of art work! I am in awe - great job here!
    Have a blessed week - and keep on crafting!

  25. It is a palace fir for a princess. I love everything about it.
    Thank you for joining my DL.ART Thankful Thursday Anything Goes JULY 2018 Linky Challenge. Have a blessed day
    DIANA L.


  26. Its amazing !! looking very beautiful...so much work done.love each and every element!!

  27. Bee-utiful! Not seen a doll house as detailed & gorgeous as this and to think it was made with cardboard scraps as well as pretty papers & other things. I liked to play with Barbie dolls when growing up.
    "Sunshine HoneyBee"

  28. its super amazing!

  29. OMG!! It is amazing Sonia and well worth all the hours it took to make..Loz

  30. WOW!!!!!!!!!! What a fabulous detailed project. A lot of patience involved. After all as a successful ENT surgeon when you can handle the tiniest bone, these objects will be a breeze.

  31. OMG!! This is beyond words!! Gorgeous super awesome work doc!! Hats off to your patience and all those tiny details!! :) <3

  32. WOW this in truly incredible and so lovely that you would share how you made it with the pics you posted. One day I am going to make one. Thank you so much for sharing this beauty - Michelle x

  33. OMG! This is amazing!

  34. OMG WOW Dr Sonia, I'm speechless! This is amazing..right down to the smallest detail, so so beautiful!

  35. Suprb project!!!

  36. Wow, this is awesome! Looks like a lot of work but is worth the effort as it's so beautiful! So glad you joined our Challenge at Word Art Wednesday. I hope you'll join us again soon. I want to leave you with the inspiration of God's Word in 2 Peter 3:9 which says, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." Have a blessed week.

    JO ANN

  37. Oh WOW WOW WOW Sonia, this is fabulous, I don't know how I missed this earlier. I'm sure that the pictures don't really do this wonderful house justice. I love the papers you've used for it and the lovely Heartfelt flowers which go perfectly with the papers.Can't wait to see what you make next.

    Sue xx

  38. Oh my God! Wow!!!!!!!!! Sonia, you are the BEST!!!!!!!!!! I just cannot stop admiring this STUNNING dollhouse. I am going to watch the video. Hugs, my super talented friend.

  39. Wow, this is so stunning...

  40. I have a doll house and have hand made things in miniature room scenes and wondered what I could use with my dies, card making things. You did an excellent job on this very sweet! see my blog 😄

  41. This is just fabulous. So much beautiful work but the result is stunning x


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